By MIKE HORNICK • firstname.lastname@example.org
A European grapevine moth was found May 10 on a vineyard northeast of Soledad, Monterey County Agricultural Commissioner Eric Lauritzen said Monday.
"As a result of the find," he said in a statement, "our local inspectors and state staff have placed nearly 400 traps in commercial vineyards within an 80-square-mile area around the discovery. It is critical we determine if there are any more of these pests in our area, as any additional finds could trigger a quarantine."
"I was shocked when they found one," said Jason Smith, general manager of Paraiso Vineyards in Soledad. "I assumed as far south as we are that it would be awhile. The big scary part is, how did it get here in the first place?"
The European moth poses a different problem than the light brown apple moth, Smith said.
"The grapevine moth does some serious damage to the actual grape cluster," he said. "The light brown apple moth doesn't go into the grape bunch itself. It puts us in a difficult situation in the vineyard industry. Now a lot more trapping will have to go on.
"What happened with the light brown apple moth, since there were not good control measures in place when it was originally found, it's growing faster than we'll be able to stop. Pretty much our whole county is in quarantine for the light brown apple moth.
"[Containing the grapevine moth and its damage is] another cost for us as growers."
The public and growers alike should respect the state's policies on inspection and pests, Smith said.
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